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Boston Reorganizes

Boston was not an accident,
not a windmill, or railroad station, or cross-roads tavern,
or an army barracks grown up by time and luck to a
place of wealth; but a seat of humanity, of men of principle,
obeying a sentiment, and marching loyally wither that should lead them.


Decline or Golden Age?

Boston was a leading national city in the 18th and early 19th century . But as the U.S. expanded westward, its position in commerce and the nation's life was diminished. At this pivotal moment, unprecedented immigration buoyed the city from 43,000 in 1820, to 178,000 in 1860. By the turn of the century Boston would have 560,000 residents.
(census chart)

At this pivotal moment the City's business and cultural leaders believed in Boston. Rather than following business elsewhere they made remarkable investments, which combined with the city's new arrivals combined to once again allow Boston to remake itself.

  • 1852: Massachusetts becomes the first state to have compulsory public education.
  • 1852-1900: Back Bay and Sound End created in a massive public works project.
  • Tufts, MIT, BC, BU, Radcliffe, Northeastern, Simmons, New England Conservatory, Harvard Business and Architecture are founded.
  • 1870: MFA established by act of the state government.
  • 1881: Boston Symphony Orchestra founded.
  • 1895: Boston Public Library
  • 1895: The country's first subway is built.
  • 1900: Symphony hall completed.

One of those who benefited from this more pluralistic culture was Kahlil Gibran, who lived in my neighborhood, Boston's South End. The echoes of this century end investment still continue, and give good reason to consider how our current civic aspirations at this millennium measure up.

Online Branding and the Law
From the writers of iBoston.org
If you like our take on Boston History,
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